A little while ago I wrote about how my 8 year old son, Tobi, gave himself a challenge to see and identify 30 different types of birds this year. I think we’re going to have to up that goal soon! Spring is finally here and we’ve seen and identified over 20 species of birds, and that is only from our feeder and walking around town!
I’ve loved seeing all of the kids become interested in watching for the birds. They already can name more birds now than I could just a few months ago. We joined the Feeder Watch project and received the poster you see in the photo, along with several other pieces of information to help us ID the different birds. The kids can watch and count the birds they see, and then submit the information to the website to help the experts track the birds.
The most frequent bird we see are gold finches. Now that spring has (more or less) come, the males are becoming more and more yellow. They’re lovely! The females are the greyish-brown colour that you can still see on this male’s back, but they still have the black wings with white bars.
We have also been getting tonnes of pine siskin. The flash of yellow under their wings help to identify them. I’m also learning that these birds look dainty and sweet but they tend to have some bird attitude and can be a bit of a bully at the feeder.
Red is another flash of colour we see every now and again, from the male house and purple finches.
The kids were also excited that we saw a new bird just the other day; redpolls!
I’m very pleased with the number of birds we’ve been getting. Frequently there will be flocks of several kinds, with 30-40 or more birds in the tree at once. It’s great right now, because the trees are still bare so we can see all of them. They aren’t hidden by leaves yet. One time we were able to see 6 or 7 different species of birds in the tree or at/under the feeder at once. I couldn’t get them all in one photo.
And this little guy…it was nice to see a little chippie start to come! He’s much cuter (and has a less ravenous appetite) than the big grey squirrels we’ve had thieving from the feeder.
Here’s our bird count list so far:
- pine siskin
- house finch
- purple finch
- dark-eyed junco
- downy woodpecker
- hairy woodpecker
- white-breasted nuthatch
- black-capped chickadee
- house sparrow
- song sparrow
- blue jay
- european starling
- mourning dove
- common redpoll
- red-winged blackbird
Away from the feeder:
- Canada goose
- red-tailed hawk
So we’re at 22 so far, and we haven’t even been to the local bird sanctuary yet! I can’t wait to see what else we can find.
What birds are you getting in your area?